It's safe to say the the Philadelphia 76ers organization has been struggling. The lack of recent playoff success has caused many people to speculate weather the Sixers can get there. Over this past off season, the organization added Al Horford on a 109 million dollar contract for three years, resigned Tobias Harris to basically a max contract, and brought in Josh Richardson in a sign and trade deal for Jimmy Butler. All of these moves sound like a boost for a big starting line-up, but it doesn't seem to be working out they way they planned.
The 76ers are know for having a great defensive team, and with additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson, it looked like the team was going to fit much better. But over the course of the season Joel Embiid and Al Horford have proven that they struggle being on the court at the same time. When Embiid is on the floor without Horford the Sixers outscore opponents by 9.3 points per 100 possessions. When Horford is on the floor without Embiid the Sixers outscore opponents by 5.5 points per 100 possessions. Bringing in a guy like Al Horford seemed like a great idea because of his ability to space the floor, defensive presence, and veteran knowledge, but it seemed to has just disrupted the star franchise player. The problem now is trying to solve this issue. It is going to be a tough job trying to trade a 34 year old on a 100 million dollar contract, especially to try and get a decent deal.
Not only has the the addition of Al Horford shown signs of failure, but also the addition of Josh Richardson. Richardson has spent a lot of time off the court with a nose contusion, hamstring, and hip-flexor injuries. He has shown very little signs of improvement with the 76ers as his stats are almost the exact same as last years. It's hard to say that Richardson isn't a good fit because we haven't seen enough of him with the squad, but the Sixers require much better shooting around Simmons and Embiid if they want to contend. If the Sixers had a better starting SG and Richardson came off the bench as a 6th man his position with the team would be much better.
I'm going to say this like everyone else says it. Ben Simmons must shoot the basketball. If he is able to shoot, it will open the floor up for everyone on the court, especially Embiid. If Ben Simmons isn't being guarded on the 3pt line it allows another defender to help cover Embiid in the post. If SImmons is guarded, it allows Embiid to go one-on-one to the basket. Also, it will allow guys like Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson more isolation opportunities, where they seem to thrive. The 76ers revolve around Ben Simmons, and if he can develop a jumper there is no limit to how far this team can go.
With all this being said this is a very young team. The average age of players when they reach their prime is about 28 or 29 years old, but the two all-star franchise players in Simmons and Embiid are 23 and 26. So we haven't even seen the best of these two guys on the court together. Also, some other young guys like Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Shake Milton started to step up this year and become the solid role players the Sixers need. This off season the Sixers must sign consistent veteran role players if they decide to keep this starting 5 together for another year. They need to sign guys like Marcus Morris, Fred VanVleet, or Bogdan Bogdanovic, who can come off the bench, shoot, and score 20 on any given night. I'm very optimistic about the 76ers future if Elton Brand can find a way to cut the cap, and pull off some good signings this off-season.
So what do you think? What should the Sixers do to improve their team this off season?